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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Potomac

Here's the Special Role Tom Sandoval Played in Ashley Darby & Luke Gulbranson's Relationship

The RHOP cast member shared why her connection to "special someone" Luke Gulbranson "surprised" her.

By Shannon Raphael

Ashley Darby and Luke Gulbranson have been teasing their romance ever since they met in person at BravoCon 2022, and now The Real Housewives of Potomac cast member is officially spilling all the tea about their burgeoning connection.

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of Potomac on Bravo on Sundays at 8/7c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo app

Ashley, who announced her separation from Michael Darby in April of 2022, spoke about Luke on the November 17 episode of Page Six's Virtual Reali-Tea podcast

She said on the show that it's been "challenging" to date now that she's a mom, because her kids require so much of her time and attention.

"There is a special someone [who] I've been talking to lately, and when I'm talking to him, my kids will be screaming, or they'll run around in the background naked and I'm like... can I just have a minute?" Ashley said. 

Ashley Darby Opens Up About Her Unkind Encounter with Vicki Gunvalson

While Ashley didn't initially mention Luke by name, she was pressed and asked if this "special someone['s]" name "begins with L, and he stars on Bravo as well."

"Luke is a really great guy," Ashley confirmed, and she admitted that when she first heard about the Winter House cast member, she "didn't know anything about him," and she feared that he might be a "pretty douche."

"He's actually a very compassionate, kind guy. He actually gives really good life advice too, which I was surprised about," she said. "There are just so many layers to him, to his personality. He's got a lot more depth."

As if Ashley's comments weren't enough to send fans into a tailspin, she even opened up about the exact moment she really felt a spark with the former hockey player: when Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras performed at an After Dark event at BravoCon 2022

"Both of us got really wrapped up in the music, and it was like I was with somebody who I was meant to be at that concert with," she added. "It was a really surreal feeling, and we just were vibing and singing together."

On the podcast, Ashley commented on if she's been enjoying all of the love she's been getting from fans who "ship" her and Luke together. She poked fun at the reception she used to get when she was married to Michael. 

"It's nice, considering where I was, where I used to be. It's just nice to be on this side of the pillow," Ashley joked. "It's a little cooler on this side of the pillow."

Watch The Real Housewives of Potomac on Bravo Sundays at 8/7c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo app.

Watch Winter House on Bravo Thursdays at 9/8c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo app.

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